New York Governor Asks Legislature to Lower Number of Signatures for Statewide and Legislative Candidates

Ballot Access News:

On June 11, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presented several election law proposals to the legislature. Here is a copy of his Draft Proposal #5, which would lower the number of signatures for statewide office (both for primary ballot access and general election access) from 15,000 signatures to 10,000. The proposal also would lower the number of primary candidates for State Senate from 1,000 signatures to 500; for Assembly primary candidates from 500 to 250 signatures; for independent State Senate candidates from 3,000 to 1,650; and for independent Assembly candidates from 1,500 to 750 signatures. The lower independent petition requirements would be equally applicable to the nominees of unqualified parties.

Another part of the same draft requires larger print size for names of candidates on ballots.

The Governor has a draft of another election law bill which would make it possible for voters to switch party affiliation up until three months before a primary. Current law on voters switching parties is easily the most restrictive in the nation. Voters must join a party in one calendar year in order to vote in the following year’s primary for that party. UPDATE: see this article about the Governor’s election law bills. He is no longer trying to repeal the Wilson-Pakula law, which won’t let candidates run in a party primary unless the candidate is a member of that party, or that candidate gets permission from party leaders.

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